My visit with the orthopedist didn’t go exactly as planned. For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been ramping up my walking game. I’ve taken some long walks up to 2.5 hours, 1.5 hours and walking around the perimeter of a shopping mall and up and down all the parking rows. Wherever I found an opportunity, I walked.
But it wasn’t long before there was a lingering discomfort around the hip bone on my left side. I kept walking. The discomfort turned to pain. I began holding my side. It ached. I kept going. Finally, with no sign of improvement in sight, I decided I’d better get checked out.
Now in reality, I thought I knew what the problem was – bursitis. When I arrived at the doctor’s office, I was x-rayed and indeed the X ray showed bursitis on my hip bone.
My doctor said to me, “You look twenty (wow! What a compliment) and you act twenty (wow! I’ll take that as a compliment, too), but your bones aren’t twenty (okay, I know that – or do I?). His advice was to ice, take it easy and give my walking a rest. Ugh.
How many times in life do we get sidelined or we come up against a stone wall or our plans are blocked for whatever reason? And yet, we’re champing at the bit to get going. In this instance, I decided to rest a couple of days and then get back to my usual routine, a 2-3 mile walk every day. So far it’s working, I don’t ice and only now and then do I feel a twinge.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. We have to live with what we’ve got or take a different tack, and sometimes we have to wait it out. That can be tough.
Whether waiting for the sun to shine or putting something on hold or quitting and taking up something new – it’s hard to get comfortable with a slower pace, leaving something behind and moving forward, and it’s hard to get comfortable with stillness and to watch time pass us by.
And I’m reminded of sailboats. When I’m at the beach, I love watching the sailboats – all those beautiful, wind-filled sails, the colorful spinnakers. On days when there’s no wind, the sailboats may be stalled in the water. Sometimes the boats have to motor back to the dock or get towed.
It’s no fun taking a punch in your gut. And as a character in a novel I finished the other day said, “It’s a damned thing. It’s an awful damned thing.”
It’s okay to feel self-pity, anger and to grieve. But it’s most important to be resilient. (I’m not going to use the cliché about lemons.)
We all have to take our best shot at life – which is fraught with obstacles. We conquer one or face another head on with courage, only to discover yet another sorrow or barrier cropping up to impede our way. What I’ve learned over the course of some hurdles and major disappointments in my life is:
Acknowledge the awful damned thing. Feel your emotions – anger, dread, fear, self-pity, whatever.
Accept the challenge. You’re not going to let this thing whip you, are you? There’s a world of promise out there, and something positive is going to happen. Believe it with all your heart, mind and soul. Keep telling yourself this. A new challenge, opportunity or way of life is on the horizon.
Take action and reinvent yourself, if necessary. It’s important to keep an open mind. Try new things, new ways to go. Sharpen your awareness.
Don’t judge yourself or beat yourself up. Life happens, we make mistakes, so what? Instead look for the good.
Prepare for the next setback. So how do you do that when you don’t know where the next kick to your stomach will come from? Shore up your defenses such as building a strong support system, building up financial reserves, keeping yourself healthy or doing things in moderation.
Set new goals. Okay, so here’s a cliché I will use, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. Always have a goal and stay flexible. Recognize that your goal may change (or you may be forced to change it) and create a new one.
And since dem bones, dem bones of mine are going to continue to age, I’m going to do some yoga stretches for my hip and change up my exercise routine to accommodate healing my hip area. And that’s an awful good thing.
Has a damned awful thing in your life turned into an awful good thing? Sharing your experiences may help someone in our community. Please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.